During much of the Revolutionary War, New Windsor served as the major depot for the Continental Army and Army Medical Dept., the majority of Town residents supported the war efforts and its leaders.
In October 1782, the troops began to arrive and set up tents, while they began building their huts. This encampment or cantonment covered 1600 acres and quartered 6000-8000 men, women and children from New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maryland. Here this army built a log city of over 700 huts for the soldiers and many other out buildings, guardhouses, blacksmith shops, stable, kitchens and a hospital. In addition, a long building called the "Temple" was constructed. It was proposed by Rev. Israel Evans, Chaplain to the Army, that a structure be built for workshop services; hence, this structure was built.
In order to reward the fidelity and faithfulness of three soldiers, Gen.Washington ordered the establishment of an honor, the Badge of Merit be bestowed on them. Today, this honor is known as the Purple Heart.
In an effort to preserve this encampment, the Town of New Windsor acquired a 167 plus acre tract consisting of much of the former hut sites. Since 1936, the Town of New Windsor and the membership of the National Temple Hill Association have strived to ensure the preservation of this- the final winter encampment.